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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old May 19 2013, 08:32 AM   #61
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Nice to see the Tahs pick up another win over quality opposition. If the stories are true and Barnes is leaving at years' end, he'll be a huge loss to Australian rugby. We simply cannot afford to lose players of that standard, but from all accounts he's gone. What a waste.

Not at all good was the injury list out of the game. I'd been pretty doubtful over the merits (not the word I want, but can't immediately think of a better one) of Smith waltzing back to Australia and into a Wallaby jumper, but this is hardly the outcome I'd have gone for. Polota-Nau's injury is just as bad - now we're stuck with Fainga'a as Moore's backup, and he's barely of S15 standard IMO. The other injuries are somewhat easier to cover but still less than ideal given our limited player pool.

Needless to say, I'm okay with Cooper not being picked. I don't care if he's got some sort of telepathic relationship with Genia or has supposedly grown up or whatever else; he cannot tackle. Given most of the players in the Lions squad would simply run right over him, we can't afford him there on that basis alone. Hopefully he'll remain on the outer when the initial squad is expanded later on.

Edit: Just saw Cooper's absolutely pathetic attempted tackle on the Cheetah's half on the news. Good grief. I don't give a damn what else he (supposedly) offers, he's a turnstile.
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Old May 19 2013, 10:43 AM   #62
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Good to see Mowen, Tomane and Leal make the 25 man squad along with the obvious Alexander and Moore. No real surprises. 6 more to be announced later as well. Hopefully in the next 2 weeks there won't be any more serious injuries.
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Old May 24 2013, 10:43 AM   #63
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Chiefs win a huge match at home - and probably their finest 80 minutes so far this year - against the Crusaders and Aaron Cruden denied the Cantabrians a losing bonus point at the death as well with a penalty, 28-19 at full time. With the Chiefs' bye next weekend they have a good five weeks to rest the squad and reintroduce injured players after the international window ends, well in the lead of the New Zealand conference with 52 points, as well as the lead on the overall table. A very good way to start the weekend!

EDIT: And the Rebels have a back to back win after defeating the Waratahs at home after last week's win against the Stormers, which I believe is the first time the Melbournites have defeated the Sydneysiders, two historic wins in two weeks! Higginbotham is just growing in stature as the Rebels captain from week to week it seems, even as the team goes all the way without three of their star players, 24-22 at full time.

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Old May 25 2013, 10:40 AM   #64
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Thought for sure the Tahs would win with their form and when the Rebels went up by 2 I was confident the Tahs would get the penalty and win by 1, which nearly happened with a miss of a tough kick.

Brumbies beat the Blues in a tough 20 - 13 match in rainy Auckland. The Blues lost it by not handling the conditions as well as the Brumbies in the first half. They defended their ling very well and the Brumbies lost the ball within 5 m of the Blues try line half a dozen times thanks to aggressive and hard tackling. The weather saw a lot of tactical kicking and handling errors, in fact the commentators said there was 20 mins of scrums. Not a 'great' spectacle, but a tough and hard game.
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Old May 26 2013, 09:23 AM   #65
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Not surprised the Tahs went down, for various reasons. In the overall scheme of things it hardly matters. The finals were always going to be a distant goal this season anyway.

Couldn't care less about the Brumbies or Reds, but it was pleasant to see the Force notch up a win.
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Old May 31 2013, 10:29 AM   #66
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

And the Waratahs nearly cost the Crusaders a second loss in as many weeks, Berrick Barnes missing the scrum penalty from out wide at the death to go down 23-22 in Christchurch. A shame the coaches pulled both starting Tahs halves off midway through the second half, you could really see they were what was keeping the team humming through the first three quarters of the match, outplaying the Crusaders three tries to one during that time, and the Crusaders didn't manage to take the lead until the 73rd minute. If nothing else, the Sydneysiders caused the Cantabrians a well-deserved humbling at home, and as an Aucklander, I approve!

EDIT: And surprise surprise the Hurricanes lose despite advantage after advantage being played in their favour in the last 15 minutes metres away from the Brumbies tryline, 30-23 at full time, did not see that coming, yeah right! Brumbies coming away with the well deserved win with the defense in the end.

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Old June 1 2013, 07:27 AM   #67
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

The Brumbies probably should have won that game a bit easier than they did. They lost the ball in the tackle or with poor passing in the Hurricanes 10m far too often, even lost the ball over the line while scoring a try.They also struggled to handle the kick off and the Hurricanes exploited it very well with precision kicks and great chasing heaping on the pressure. In the end the Brumbies were lucky not to be down a man in the last minutes after giving away 3 or 4 penalties with a few metres of their line. However, in the end the Brumbies got away with the win.

Only Aust teams in action next week. It will be interesting to see how the teams go without the Wallabies squad members. Force probably benefit the most since they are the least impacted and they are playing the team most impacted in the Tah.
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Old June 2 2013, 07:22 AM   #68
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

In the last NZ Conference match before the international window the Highlanders got their second win of the season over the Blues with a mouthwatering performance in the first half, for the third week in a row the Aucklanders left themselves with too much to do in the second half and paid the price, 38-28 at full time. Only downside of the match is the concussion of Weepu who was stretchered off the pitch early in the first half, meaning he probably won't get much game time, if any at all, against France.

Steve Hansen has announced his squad for the test series starting next week, six new caps among them: http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/8...for-All-Blacks

Hopefully Ben Smith gets a start at fullback next weekend after his performance last night, especially with Dagg just going through the motions at the moment, but I get the feeling he'll just waltz in to his usual number 15 jersey. You only need to perform when you pull on the All Blacks uniform after all
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Old June 7 2013, 12:52 PM   #69
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Brumbies got a vital bonus point win against the Rebel winning by 39-17. A mixed first half gave way to a rampaging Brumbies in the second, a 95 m try by the Rebels against the run of play was the only blemish in a dominating 30 mins of the second half. The fringe players that came in did very well and negated the loss of the Wallabies squad members.

Only bad point is that Nic White received a shoulder injury in the 5th minute of the game. Not sure how bad it is, but it is looking like a shoulder injury should for the second year in a row deny him a chance to make the Wallabies squad.
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Old June 8 2013, 01:17 PM   #70
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Interest night of rugby. Only saw the first half of the All Blacks vs France and was surprised to see that in the second the AB only added 6 to France's 3. I thought the ABs were starting to get it together and were going to double their score from HT.

Saw most of the Reds v Lions. It was closer than it should have been. The Lions bombed four or five tries. Their scrum and lineout hammered the Reds and the rain in the latter half helped keep the game close as both sides dropped a crap load of ball.

Next game for the Lions is versus a combined NSW/QLD country team. Sounds like another training run for the Lions. They have the Tahs after that, but given how many are out we probably won't know how competitive they will be until we see how they go against the Force tomorrow.
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Old June 9 2013, 08:50 AM   #71
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

It boggles the mind that Beale has been included in the Wallaby squad for the Lions series. Hardly played a game all year, clearly has major issues with alcohol (all credit to him for finally acknowledging that fact and dealing with it), and yet he gets picked. Bizarre. Equally bizarre is Burgess waltzing back into Wallaby colours without benefit of playing a game here in a couple of years. Even given White's injury it's a bit of an insult to the blokes who've stayed and plied their trade here.

Still not unhappy Cooper remains on the outer. Of course, if the maroon-eyed pinheads get their way McKenzie will be the next Wallaby coach and then he'll be first cab off the rank for every game. Not looking forward to that scenario.


Full-time in the west as I type and the Tahs, minus 17 of their squad, pull off a win against the Force. Foley's ploy of resting almost everyone from the Lions game didn't work out too well, evidently.
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Old June 16 2013, 08:37 AM   #72
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

All Blacks won against France with a much improved performance in Christchurch last night, 30-0 at full time, the first time we've held the French scoreless in 53 tests, apparently. Three tries were scored, the second, from a charged-down drop goal attempt just after half time, was certainly the most satisfying, and both second half tries were started from well inside the All Blacks' half. One test left against France, and I wouldn't be surprised if they came out guns blazing this time after the media has written them off, again. Did they learn nothing from the 2011 World Cup final? All in all a very satisfying test for this Kiwi, only areas I would still like to see improvement in are ball security - the French pilfered away all game - and handling, it actually could have been even more of an embarrassing scoreline for Les Bleus as we bombed at least two more try attempts.

Also watched the Waratahs take on the Lions last night, 17-47 to the home team, and the final score favours the Lions as the Waratahs were very much in the game for the first hour or so, not bad for what was admittedly the Waratahs 'B' team!
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Old June 18 2013, 01:39 PM   #73
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Brumbies got a hard fought 14 - 12 victory over the Lions. They managed to go one better than the Brumbies of 2001 who lost the game in injury time by holding out the Lions. To be fair this was the weakest Lions team of their tour so far but they would have been expected to put away a provincial side that had only two players that have had any international exposure. Brumbies did what they've done across the Super season that sees them leading the Aust conference. They played territory, kicked well, defended hard and did their best to make it a hard night for their opposition. Was on the edge of my seat in the last 10 with just 2 points in it and hoping this win will help them in their last game and into the finals.
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Old June 22 2013, 01:44 PM   #74
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Lions win the first 23 -21 with Beale missing two penalties in the last 5 minutes that would have won the game. The Wallabies managing to keep it that close with some of the injuries was pretty good. Losing an inside centre in the first minute, the fullblack early in the second and then McCabe, the replacement inside not long after is not going to help a team win. Near the end AAC came off and the Wallabies had Hooper, a no.7 at inside, and Phibbs the replacement halfback on the wing, yet they kept it close and nearly stole victory.

Early word is Leal and Barnes just had concussions and should be fine, but McCabe and AAC might be a different matter. If one of them goes down you'd think that Anthony Fainga'a would be pulled into the squad. If both go down it would be interesting to see who else would be brought in. Lets hope that the Wallabies have used up their injury bad luck for the series and it won't play as much of a disruptive hand for the the next two games.
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Old June 22 2013, 04:38 PM   #75
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

^ Damn, Wallabies were incredibly unlucky in the first game, not only to have three players stretchered off, but for Beale to miss not one, but two match winning kicks. The Lions' weak point seems to be their halfback. Jesus, that's some of the sloppiest and slowest ball I've seen outside of ITM Cup matches, playing opposite Genia certainly doesn't do him any favours.

And as some of you may have heard, the All Blacks bumbled their way to a 24-9 win against France, in what must be the worst match of the series yet, all of the lessons of the last two weeks seemingly forgotten. Carter seems to be tired of wearing the number 10 jersey, which will hopefully mean Cruden will start at flyhalf for the Rugby Championship - yeah right! - and only Nonu, the Smiths, Read and Ranger providing any attacking spark at all tonight, until Barrett scored the try at the death at least. Taking Aaron Smith out of the lineup was a mistake, Kerr-Barlow is usually a solid performer for the Chiefs but a valid All Black number 9 backup he isn't, a pity TJ Perenara was injured when he was last year otherwise he would've been at least in the match day 23 by now. All in all about a 3/10 for the whole squad tonight, a shame after the solid performance last weekend.
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